Friday, September 01, 2017

Flashback Friday - Curry Cupcakes

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This post originally appeared on on March 22, 2011.

Back in October of 2010, I posted some teaser photos of a batch of cupcakes that I baked up to test a recipe for the Scharffen Berger Chocolate Adventure Contest. I didn't win, so now it's safe to share.

The Chocolate Adventure Contest requires participants to use one or more somewhat-esoteric "adventure ingredients," which this year included stout, ricotta, buttermilk, saffron, coconut milk, molasses, adzuki beans, fresh beets, chiles, bee pollen, Meyer lemon, almond flour, and Sumatra coffee beans. I liked the idea of using saffron, coconut milk, and almond flour in the cupcakes themselves, and thought curry powder would be a nice accent for the saffron. The cake itself was ridiculously moist and the entire concoction was quite rich. And delicious! The curry flavoring was very subtle - I used Penzey's Sweet Curry, which has more sweet spices, especially fenugreek, one of the flavor components of "maple-flavored" syrups like Log Cabin. Taste-testers were hard-pressed to guess that the caramel and frosting were indeed flavored with curry.

Without further ado, I give you White Chocolate Saffron Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Curry Caramel Filling and Curry Buttercream Frosting. (You'll probably notice that I used basically the same base in my pistachio cupcakes. It's so good, I don't see any reason to use any other recipe.)

White Chocolate Saffron Cupcakes

1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup almond flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4-oz white chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup coconut milk

Preheat oven to 325F. Line muffin pans with 18 cupcake liners.

Place the saffron in a small bowl with boiling water and soak for 15 minutes.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt.

Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 1 minute at 50% power. Stir chocolate and if it does not melt completely, microwave for another 30 seconds at 50% power. Repeat at 15-second intervals until the chocolate is smooth when stirred.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in eggs one at a time, then add the melted white chocolate and vanilla extract. Alternate stirring in flour mixture and coconut milk, ending with flour. Mix until no streaks of flour remain, but do not overmix.

Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin cups.

Bake at 325F for 20-23 minutes until a tester comes out clean and the tops spring back when lightly pressed with a fingertip. Cool on a wire rack.

Makes 18 cupcakes.

Milk Chocolate Curry Caramel Filling

1/2 cup sugar
1/8 cup water
1 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons salted butter, diced
1 ounce Scharffen Berger milk chocolate
1/8 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon curry powder (Penzey's Sweet Curry, if you can get it. It's sweeter and less cumin-y than grocery store curry powder.)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

In a medium saucepan set over low heat, stir sugar, 1/4 cup water, and corn syrup until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high. Boil without stirring until syrup is deep amber, occasionally brushing down pan sides with wet pastry brush, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Add cream, which will cause sugar to bubble furiously, then whisk in butter and chocolate.

Add sour cream, curry powder, and salt. Cool completely before using.

Curry Buttercream Frosting

1.5 sticks of  room temperature butter
7 ounces marshmallow fluff
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon curry powder (Penzey's Sweet Curry)

Combine the butter and marshmallow in a bowl, and with a hand or stand mixer, beat on medium until completely smooth. Reduce speed to low and add confectioners sugar, vanilla, salt, and curry powder. Continue to beat until smooth and fluffy.

To assemble cupcakes:

Using a paring knife, cut a small divot out of the top of each cupcake, about 1" deep x 1 1/4" wide (the little plugs are Cook's Treat!). Fill hole with some of the cooled caramel sauce. Spoon frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large plain round or French tip and pipe in a spiral onto the tops of each cupcake, making sure to cover the caramel. Garnish with chopped pistachios or sliced almonds, if desired.

Store in refrigerator to keep frosting from getting too soft. Bring to room temperature before eating.

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